When it comes to music, there’s something undeniably captivating about the thumping bass that reverberates through the body and gets your feet tapping. Bass music has become a powerhouse in the electronic music scene, with its infectious rhythms and low-frequency vibrations.
In this article, you will deeply dive into the essence of bass music, exploring its origins, defining characteristics, prominent sub-genres, and influence on modern music culture.
What is Bass Music?
Bass music is all about those deep, low-frequency sounds. This music genre focuses on sub-bass and heavy bass elements. You’ll often hear syncopated rhythms, complex drum patterns, and many synthesizers.
The tempo of bass music typically falls between 140 and 175 beats per minute (BPM). This genre is flexible since you can experiment and push the limits with unique sound design and production techniques. When you listen to bass music, you’ll get caught up in its hypnotic and energetic vibe, thanks to its immersive rhythmic patterns.
Influence of Bass Music on Modern Music Culture
Bass music has profoundly impacted modern music culture, leaving its mark on various genres and artists. From pop and hip-hop to experimental and avant-garde music, the influence of bass music is undeniable. The emphasis on powerful basslines and impactful drops has become a defining feature in contemporary music production.
As the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) scene grows and genres blend, bass music is steadily becoming mainstream. Nowadays, you can hear bass music’s influence in popular songs playing on radio stations and streaming platforms worldwide. The popularity of bass music also created music platforms like UKF.
UKF showcases bass artists, features them on podcasts, and promotes international bass music events. These efforts further solidify the genre’s presence in the music industry.
The Birth of Bass Music
Bass music emerged from the underground scene, blending genres like dub, reggae, hip-hop, and electronic music. This scene happened in the 1980s when Jamaica’s lively sound system culture and the UK played significant roles in shaping this genre.
In Jamaica, artists like King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry led the way with their bass-heavy music. They make the bass a central element in their musical creations.
Meanwhile, dub and reggae genres were gaining popularity in the UK. Electronic music legends like Kraftwerk played a part in this recognition. Fusing these diverse sounds and styles sets the foundation for the bass music you hear and enjoy today.
Bass Music Sub-Genres
As bass music evolved over the years, it gave birth to some sub-genres that make this genre more interesting. The most common ones are dubstep and DnB.
Originating in South London during the late 1990s, dubstep took the music world by storm with its groundbreaking sound. The genre’s characteristic wobbly basslines, aggressive drops, and sparse arrangements quickly gained a massive following.
Artists like Skream, Benga, Digital Mystikz, and labels like DMZ and Tempa played a crucial role in developing and popularizing dubstep. The bass’s influence extended beyond the electronic music scene, infiltrating mainstream music and inspiring artists in various genres.
Drum and Bass
This sub-genre emerged in the early 1990s as an evolution of hardcore and jungle music.
DnB features intricate drum patterns, heavy basslines, and rapid-fire rhythms that create an energetic and frenetic atmosphere. Artists like Andy C, DJ Hype, and Goldie and labels like Metalheadz and Hospital Records pushed the boundaries of DnB, solidifying its place in the bass music landscape. The genre’s relentless energy and technical prowess continue to captivate audiences worldwide.
Trap music has its roots in the Southern United States. This bass music sub-genre combines hip-hop and electronic elements while embracing heavy basslines. Trap bass music unleashes aggressive beats, 808 kick drums, and trap snares. These music techniques give this sub-genre its hard-hitting and captivating sound.
Artists like RL Grime, Baauer, Flosstradamus, and labels such as Mad Decent propelled trap music to new heights. These artists influence mainstream music and popularize the genre beyond the electronic music scene. The fusion of trap and bass music elements has given rise to a new wave of creativity and experimentation in both genres.
Bass Music’s Popularity
In the early 2000s, bass music started to spread across the globe, transcending cultural boundaries and captivating audiences worldwide. North America became a hotbed for bass music, with cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Miami becoming thriving hubs for bass music enthusiasts.
The rise of festivals such as Bassnectar’s “Bass Center” and Excision’s “Lost Lands” showcased the genre’s immense popularity and brought together fans from all walks of life. Bass music’s global expansion solidified its place in the music scene and fostered the growth of diverse sub-genres and regional variations.
Dive Into the Sound of Bass
Bass music has evolved from its humble beginnings to become a force that shapes modern music culture. The quality of bass music, such as deep basslines, intricate rhythms, and innovative sound design, has captivated listeners worldwide.
From dubstep and drum and bass to trap and beyond, the genre continues pushing boundaries and inspiring new generations of musicians.
So, the next time you immerse yourself in a crowd, feeling the bass pulsate through your body, remember the roots and essence of bass music. This genre has made an integral part of the modern musical landscape.